Basic Rules
Setup and equipment
Beep baseball is played on a grass field with 6 fielders (generally a first-baseman, third-baseman, shortstop, left fielder, right fielder, and center fielder, though two-four defensive sets are not unheard-of) and 1 or 2 "spotters" from one team, and the pitcher, catcher, and batter from the other team. Fielders and batter are blindfolded. There is also a D.H. and D.F. (designated fielder). They must also be legally blind in most cases. However, the NBBA has a rule that, if a team cannot field the minimum six batters required to fill its lineup card, it may opt to allow up to two sighted volunteers to blindfold themselves and play as the visually impaired players do. Catcher, pitcher, and spotters do not wear blindfolds and are usually sighted, although there have been a few who are partially blind. The ball beeps and is a modified, and oversized, softball. The bases are blue, nearly 5 ft (1.5 m) tall, and have mostly foam interior with the electronics that cause it to buzz steadily when a switch is thrown. They are each placed 100 ft (30 m) from homeplate and are in the equivalent positions to first and third bases in regular baseball.

Run Scoring
When the batter hits the ball, a base operator turns on one of the two bases (first or third) for the batter to run to. If the batter touches the base before a fielder can pick up the ball, the offensive team scores a run. It takes 4 strikes for a batter to be out. If the ball goes beyond the two base lines or doesn't travel at least 40 ft (12 m), it is foul and counted as a strike unless it is the potential fourth strike, when the batter just swings again. If a batted ball travels at least 170 feet in the air over fair territory before settling, it is, upon declaration of the umpire, a home run. If the ball ceases to beep, or if it hits the pitcher, and becomes a "dead ball" the strike count is reset and the batter swings again. A dead ball must not be touched. If it is, it is said to be back in play and the runner must be put out.

Spotting
The spotter or spotters call out a number to signify which part of the field a ball is travelling towards. Generally, the middle of the outfield is labeled 6, and either side, left and right, is numbered one to five in a mirroring pattern. The spotter must not say anything beyond the numbered region on the field, and two spotters cannot make a call on the same play. If either case occurs, the run scores. The fielders head towards that section and listen for where the ball is specifically, often diving to the ground to get it. When a fielder picks up the ball before the batter reaches the base, the batter is out. In the rare event a fielder catches the ball in the air before it touches the ground or other items, the side is automatically retired and the next half-inning commences. The spotter must also watch to ensure that nobody collides.

Innings
Beep baseball generally has 6 innings. The extra innings rules used in major league baseball generally apply to beep baseball. If one team is up by twelve or more runs, the other team has the opportunity to have short innings in which the losing team bats every inning and the winning team fields. This is known as the twelve-run rule, and when it occurs, one team is said to "twelve-run" another. If the other team makes up the difference, then the team that had been winning gets back all their missed at-bats.

There are no age or gender-based restrictions in beep baseball; people as old as 70 and as young as 12 have played.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend